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Men & Chicken (2015)

Mænd & høns (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Mystery | 5 February 2015 (Denmark)
2:10 | Trailer

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Two outcast brothers, through getting to know their unknown family, discover a horrible truth about themselves and their relatives.
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Credited cast:
David Dencik ... Gabriel
Mads Mikkelsen ... Elias
Nikolaj Lie Kaas ... Gregor
Søren Malling ... Franz
Nicolas Bro ... Josef
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Stine Engberg Andersen Stine Engberg Andersen ... Epilog pige I
Rikke Louise Andersson ... Sara
Ulla Asbjørn-Damsted Ulla Asbjørn-Damsted ... Gæst
Thor Bisbjerg Thor Bisbjerg ... Hvid kittel II
Valdemar Bemmann Bredning Valdemar Bemmann Bredning ... Boy I
Lisbet Dahl Lisbet Dahl ... Susan
Johnny Didriksen Johnny Didriksen ... Hvid kittel V
Matti Ehlers Matti Ehlers ... Dreng børnehaven
Daniel Engstrup Daniel Engstrup ... Hvid kittel I
Jens Fitzau Jens Fitzau ... Tjener I


Gabriel and Elias are two very different brothers. Gabriel is a worn down university professor and Elias is a man whose only concern is women and trivial knowledge. During a lecture Gabriel receives a phone call. Their father is dead. Things take a turn when the brothers learn through a videotape recorded by their now late father, that he in fact wasn't their biological father. Gabriel and Elias discover that their biological father lives on the island Ork. They set out to the island and here they meet their real family. The brothers' first meeting with the family doesn't go as expected. Gabriel and Elias are stranded in the marshland of Ork. Here they meet the mayor of Ork and his daughter Ellen, a neurotic woman who hates her life, herself, her father and the island. Surrounded by abnormal people, Gabriel and Elias discover the truth about themselves and their relatives. A truth that while paralyzing them also sets them free. Written by Anders Thomas Jensen

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Man vælger ikke selv sin familie (You don't choose your own family)


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Denmark | Germany



Release Date:

5 February 2015 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Men & Chicken See more »

Filming Locations:

Beelitz, Brandenburg, Germany See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,654, 24 April 2016, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$30,127, 26 June 2016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Color (HD)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film was made almost twelve years after Anders Thomas Jensen's last film, Adam's Apples (2005). See more »

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User Reviews

"Men & Chicken" is an odd, but engaging mixture of influences.
15 May 2016 | by dave-mcclainSee all my reviews

Mads Mikkelsen has had quite an interesting career so far. What? You don't know who he is? That must mean that you're not up to date on your Danish cinema, or you don't like James Bond, or don't watch much TV… or all three. Mikkelsen is a Danish actor who is probably best known in the U.S. for playing the title character in NBC's "Hannibal" – and as the villain Le Chiffre in the 2006 Daniel Craig-led Bond reboot "Casino Royale". But, like most successful actors, Mikkelsen had to work his way up to such notable parts. As a young man, he spent ten years as a ballet dancer. In the mid-1990s, he began acting in high-profile films and TV shows in his native Denmark. The New York Times calls him "a face of the resurgent Danish cinema". Public opinion polls often crown him the sexiest man in Denmark, while his acting talent has earned him numerous Best Actor awards at film festivals around the world. More recently, in 2014, Mikkelsen played a Danish immigrant in the American West in the excellent, but underseen "The Salvation", and in 2015, he appeared in one of Rhianna's music videos. 2016 has him in Marvel's "Doctor Strange" and "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story". Very interesting indeed. "Interesting" is an appropriate but more loaded term when us to describe Mikkelsen's film "Men & Chicken" (NR, 1:44).

Mikkelsen stars as Elias who, along with his half-brother, Gabriel (David Dencik), seems a little short-changed in the brains department – and NO-changed when it comes to looks and social skills. When their father dies, they learn that they were both adopted and that their biological father lives on the tiny (fictional) Danish island of Ork. When Elias and Gabriel go to Ork in search of their father, they come across three more half-brothers, Gregor (Nikolaj Lie Kaas), Franz (Søren Malling) and Josef (Nicolas Bro), who live together in a dilapidated former sanitarium which is overrun by barn animals. And it seems that Gregor, Franz and Joseph have the same "challenges" as Elias and Gabriel, if not more so.

When Elias and Gabriel show up at the home of their other three brothers and announce who they are, Gregor, Franz and Josef beat Elias and Gabriel. After regrouping at the home of the town's mayor (Ole Thestrup) and his unmarried daughter (Kirsten Lehfeldt), Elias and Gabriel return to their brothers' home the next day to try again to get Gregor, Franz and Josef to talk to them. Another beating ensues, but Elias and Gabriel turn the tables, leading Gregor, Franz and Josef to grudgingly welcome their long-lost brothers into their home. But getting to meet their father is harder than Elias and Gabriel expected.

Getting to know their newfound brothers is no picnic either. Besides letting barn animals roam freely throughout their home, Gregor, Franz and Josef interact with each other very strangely. They fight over who eats off of which plate at dinner, they cuddle together for a bedtime story each night, and if any of the brothers breaks a family rule, he has to sit in a metal cage outside. Oh, and sometimes the brothers change into tennis whites and play badminton on a makeshift indoor court. Gregor, Franz and Josef also have an especially unusual relationship with the larger animals that live outside the house. After being stymied in their efforts to meet their father, Elias and Gabriel notice some… unique-looking chickens roaming about, which makes them wonder even more about who their father is and what he's into.

"Men & Chicken" is… interesting (in an odd way) and can be entertaining… depending on your taste in movies. RogerEbert.com summarizes this film as "a hybrid of 'The Three Stooges' comedy and the lunacy of 'The Island of Dr. Moreau'". It's an apt characterization for what is a tough film to describe. It includes comic violence, bizarre situations, gross-out humor, very dark comedy and even some sweetness. It's fun to see Mikkelsen play so well against type, while the physical appearance of all five brothers is both repulsive and magnetic. As individuals, each character is a rail car which has gone off the tracks. As a whole, this group of people is a train wreck, but it's nearly impossible to look away. Like that proverbial human train wreck, you may find yourself wanting to keep watching out of a morbid sense of curiosity. Many will find this movie too "weird", but some will find it irresistible. "B"

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